April 18, 1994 – May 14, 2020
Ian Hunter Brisbin was born in Oakland, CA on April 18, 1994 and like many children of military families he grew up all over the place. Ian graduated high school in Fredericksburg, VA and joined the Army where he served for 4 years, making one deployment to Iraq. After leaving the Army he returned to Virginia for a while, working various jobs while going to school. Ian was always drawn to the outdoors, and eventually he decided to attend a semester at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for certification as an outdoor wilderness instructor. When he’d finished that program he took off to Lake Powell and got his dream-job as a kayaking /canyon guide. Dream jobs seldom pay that well, so after a season of hard-work on the water and subsistence living at the guide-house, he was excited to accept a position as a law enforcement officer at Glen-Canyon Dam, though he planned to continue his guide work part-time.
Ian Hunter Brisbin was a son. He was a brother. He was a best friend. He was a soldier. He was the first person you wanted to call to share laughs or sorrows with and was always quick to offer an encouraging word or movie quote to cheer you up. Ian never believed he was better or more deserving than anyone else. He put others before himself not out of obligation, but because he simply cared about people and accepted them as they were. He was one of the most genuine human beings you’ve ever known, and had a magnetic energy that made people want to know him and share experiences with him. At 26 he was just realizing his potential, just starting to truly make things happen for himself. Ian was a confident outdoorsman and ultimately he died doing what he loved, in a place he loved to be. His picture here was taken by a friend on the day of his accident; it’s our last memory of him alive, and it’s a good one.